CEO Stéphane Bancel said the cost of Moderna’s Covid vaccine will be ‘going up a little bit’ to be priced in the ‘same ballpark’ as Pfizer’s when it goes on the open market this year.
Americans can expect to pay around $130 for the vaccine, which is currently sold for $26 a dose and is estimated to cost just $1.18 to make.
Moderna made an estimated $39 billion last year, and Pfizer sold their Covid shots to the government in million-dose contracts that will run out this year.
Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel revealed his company would jack up the price of its Covid shot five times to match it’s competitor Pfizer’s offering of $110-130 per vaccine
Mr Bancel told DailyMail.com: ‘It’s going up a little bit because the previous price was massively discounted… we got help from the US Government. When we did the first contract with the US we proposed an offer to them [with] a big discount.’
‘In the US it’s $26 now. That was the discounted price, it’s going to go up. Pfizer said they’re going to price it between $110 and $130.
‘We’d want to be the same ballpark as that.’
Pfizer was heavily criticized when it announced in October plans to raise the price of its shot to $130, once the government uses up the doses it has bought.
The imminent price jump is a markup of over 10,000 percent compared to the estimated $1.18 it costs for the firms to develop the shot.
Moderna was previously considering raising the commercial price to $82 to $100 per dose.
Mr Bancel appeared at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Saturday, where he spoke to president of Jefferson Health Dr Stephen Klasko about Moderna’s joint venture with drug giant Merck to create personalized cancer vaccines
Since the pandemic, the vaccines have been free to Americans regardless of insurance status.
In July 2022, the US government awarded a $1.74billion agreement to secure more than 65 million doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.
When those run out, the negotiation of the cost of vaccines will soon be down to insurance companies and private purchasers – in the absence of the federal government buying up additional doses at a reasonable price.
Insurance premiums will cover the price increase meaning Americans will not actually pay out-of-pocket, but it will still push up premiums all round.
Mr Bancel’s comments confirmed lawmakers’ fears that Pfizer’s price hike would prompt other Covid shot makers to also raise their price, making the vaccine unaffordable for the uninsured and pushing up premiums for those who are.
Democrats Sen Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts and Sen-elect Representative Peter Welch of Vermont accused Pfizer of ‘unseemly profiteering’ and ‘pure and deadly greed’ in a scathing letter to its CEO Albert Bourla last month, and urged him to change course.
Moderna was forecasted to rake in between $18 and $19billion each of the past two years from Covid vaccine contracts, a ginormous increase from 2020 when it brought in $803million.
Meanwhile, its competitor Pfizer was forecasted to rake in over $100billion in revenue last year, and brought in $81.2billion in 2021. These figures well clear the $40 billion per year it was earning the years prior.
The Biden Administration’s Covid funding is running dry. Congress has balked at White House requests to bolster federal money for new vaccines, research and development, treatments, and test supplies.
Mr Bancel, whose net worth is $5.7 billion, told DailyMail.com Moderna’s Covid shots will be priced in the ‘same ballpark’ as rival vaccine maker Pfizer
The federal government has spent a staggering $30billion on Covid vaccines since the first ones became available in late December 2020, purchasing a total of 1.2billion doses of Pfizer and Moderna shots combined.
Included in that total is the cost of developing and mass-producing the bivalent vaccines that target the original and omicron strains of Covid. Those boosters, though, have been met with less-than-stellar enthusiasm.
Less than 14 percent of eligible Americans five and older have gotten a bivalent booster, compared to a staggering 73 percent who completed the original two-shot regimen.
Public health authorities have struggled to rally support around the latest booster shot as the population becomes increasingly fatigued with all things Covid.
The Biden administration doubled down on its efforts to encourage apathetic Americans to get the booster, announcing a six-week blitz in November aimed at ‘reaching seniors and the communities that Covid hardest hit through making it more convenient to get vaccinated and increasing awareness through paid media.’
It comes after Pfizer forecasted up to $15bn in annual revenue by 2030 from its shots.
Mr Bancel made the comments at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Saturday, where he discussed Moderna’s joint venture with drug giant Merck to create personalized cancer vaccines.